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Ah, Microsoft. Love it or hate it, it was right up there with Apple, making the personal computer a household item when it was a problem. Not too long ago, before the year 2000, many people didn’t really know computers, so like Apple, Microsoft constantly worked on making its operating system, Windows, non-threatening, easy to use and use. As functional as possible. And nowadays, while Apple has managed to keep up with the times and achieve similar results with tablets and most notably with smartphones, Microsoft isn’t a big name in either of those markets.

It’s not for lack of trying. Microsoft has always been willing to experiment. When Apple released the iPod, a super basic and user-friendly MP3 player, back then, Microsoft released the Zune. Well it was rushed, it was basically just a rehashed Toshiba product, it didn’t impress and most importantly it failed.

Then Apple released the iPhone. Microsoft’s answer: Windows Phone. A combination of hardware made by Nokia, software made by Microsoft, and while I personally loved my Windows Phone long before Android, app developers sure didn’t. And ultimately, due to a lack of popular apps and inevitably user adoption, Microsoft’s Windows Phone experiments also failed.

And now in 2023, Apple dominates the tablet market, and entire generations of people are growing up with touchscreen devices, most often Apple iPads, instead of Windows laptops or PCs.

Microsoft tried again to compete with that Windows-threatening fact by packing its desktop operating system into a tablet and calling it Surface, and I tried again. And while I liked the idea, the overall experience wasn’t ideal. Slow performance combined with a bloated interface that isn’t designed for touch first, plus the fact that most Windows apps expect a keyboard and mouse… It’s not something you want to deal with on a tablet, especially after using an iPad. which are not. you don’t have any of those problems.

Needless to say, the Surface tablets aren’t even close to competing with the iPad in popularity. But, as with all Microsoft products, they have a really good place with businesses and die-hard fans, to be fair.

Microsoft Duo: A very Microsoft way of doing something interesting in concept, but lackluster in practice. A dual-screen phone that works on the go.

Microsoft releasing the Surface Duo was the most un-Microsoft thing I would have ever expected in a million years. Because from what I’ve noticed, Microsoft usually tries once to enter an already competitive market, and when that attempt almost inevitably fails, the once powerful and respected company never gives it another shot. But in this case, it gave smartphones another step by making the Surface Duo, and I’m proud of that…

As a Windows Phone buff, I was excited when Microsoft first announced the Surface Duo in 2020; a phone that this time runs Google’s Android operating system rather than Microsoft’s. So it immediately gets all the big, popular apps that all Android phones do; no worries there.

Even more surprisingly, the Duo was a dual-screen phone, not to be confused with a foldable phone. Instead of one large screen that folds out, it has two large, separate screens held together by a hinge. Not great for watching movies, obviously, because of the gap between them, but genius for productivity. And much more durable than a phone with a soft folding screen.

Now, it’s no secret that Microsoft likes to target its businessmen and businesswomen. Because despite occasionally kidding like Apple’s big boy, Microsoft’s core audience has always been business people.

So it was a productivity-focused, dual-screen Android phone. Gorgeous design, by the way, and I won’t even play it safe and call it “subjective”; The Microsoft Surface Duo is awesome. Slim, light, minimalistic, clean.

The software was also promising, with Microsoft tweaking Android and giving the Duo its own launcher with square icons, the beloved, familiar and homey Windows 10 wallpaper, and multitasking productivity features. These included running two apps, one on each screen, which is a really great way to multitask without worrying about cramped space.

And with Microsoft office apps including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook all available on Android, this really was the perfect productivity phone for working on the go. Why isn’t it in every handy businessman’s pocket?

Unfortunately, as you can probably guess if you’ve either never heard of it, or at least never seen one in real life, not even in a store, the Surface Duo wasn’t a winner in any common sense. It wasn’t marketed well, it didn’t reach many influencers and reviewers (we didn’t, and I’m “definitely” not bitter about it), and on top of that; it, at $1,400 or more, mind you, had software issues.

And the camera was described as a cheap webcam that couldn’t impress or even remotely compete with the competition, likely a result of the phone’s ultra-slim design. Eventually, Microsoft released the Duo 2, which improved on that by adding a camera bump and bigger sensors inside, but again, that second Duo model didn’t make the right waves either. And here we are in 2023.

Folding phones are now mostly commonplace, at least to the extent that everyone knows what they are and many people want them. Samsung The Galaxy Z Fold 4 remains my favorite smartphone ever, and its successor, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is around the corner.

But hey, Samsung came in and took over the foldable phone market like an absolute champ, so let’s look at the underdog instead. Flawless, which has far less global reach than Samsung, and far less credibility than Microsoft, at least in the west. And that character is called Oppo.

Oppo Find N2 is about the perfect foldable phone. But the most important thing in this tale is marketing.

While Microsoft continues to struggle to make a mark in the smartphone market with its dual-screen phone, and the few users and reviewers who have bought it have been generally unimpressed, Oppo has taken on Samsung with the Find N, and Now, Oppo Find N2 foldable phones. And boy oh boy kids… that one is a winner!

Not only does the Find N2 actually improve on King Samsung’s foldable phone design, with a much less noticeable crease in the middle of its foldable screen and arguably a better, more comfortable, wider aspect ratio when folded, but its display actually the best ever put into a fold. We measured! Check out our Oppo Find N2 review to see how it stacks up against the already hyped Z Fold 4.

And unlike Microsoft’s Duo, the Oppo Find N2 has actually reached a global audience, despite the fact that it’s currently only sold in China. Why? Well, Oppo knows marketing. People need to know about your new phone, need to see reviews, specs. Oppo was clearly proud of its phone, as it should be, and went to great lengths to get it into the hands of as many reviewers as possible, including us. And yes, the reviewers loved it. we loved it. And in turn, many consumers learned about it.

So it’s fair to say that if Oppo manages to launch the Find N2 globally, it will outsell the Microsoft Duo (both models), and by a lot more. Not just because the Find N2 is a good product, but because Oppo actually put in the effort to show it to the world, arrogantly expecting the world to come around to it. So the question arises…

What is Microsoft thinking? That his name carries weight in the smartphone world. This isn’t Apple or Samsung… Efforts need to be made to give Duo the recognition it deserves. Because it does.

Again, I’m actually a fan of the Microsoft Surface Duo, or at least the concept, and I want it to succeed. However, Microsoft not doing enough to promote it and just expecting the world to buy it because it carries the Microsoft brand name is ridiculous. If Oppo, a largely unknown entity in the west, can do more than just that. polished product, but get it into everyone’s hands, then surely Microsoft, which is worth about $1.8 trillion, can do it too, right?

It seems to me that Microsoft continues to repeat the same mistakes that it has often made in the past. he assembles a good, passionate team of people to quickly design and develop a promising project to compete in a booming market. That team is doing their thing, but then Microsoft doesn’t bother to set aside enough of the marketing and distribution budget because… stinginess, I guess. This is just speculation, though if you ask anyone familiar with Microsoft’s business practices, you’ll likely hear similar theories.

And that sucks because not only do I feel bad for the talented people who worked on the Surface Duo and Duo 2, but I feel bad for us consumers as well. This could be a great alternative to flip phones for all of us if it were more popular, more widely available, and less rushed to begin with.

But it’s time to listen to your thoughts. Do you like the Surface Duo and the concept behind it? Do you have one, or at least know someone who does? Or do you think the whole concept of a dual-screen phone is inferior and doomed to failure compared to foldable phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Oppo Find N2?


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